Bulletin 8: Bringing Employees Back to Work in Uncertain Times

This is the eighth bulletin provided by Vernon Litigation Group to support local small business owners and help navigate the challenges of staying in business, supporting employees and clients, supporting the community, and positioning the business for growth and success on the other side of the COVID-19 crisis.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many small business owners have been effectively shut down for the past several weeks (and may have experienced dramatic changes in the workforce).  During these unprecedented times, small business owners are facing significant challenges to keep their businesses intact, remain in compliance with federal, state, and local government orders, keep employees (and customers) safe, and maintain office morale.

As Florida moves forward with the “Safe. Smart. Step-By-Step Plan for Florida’s Recovery,” now is the time for small business owners to be proactive and lay the groundwork for implementing an action plan on returning employees to the workplace that maintains safety, minimizes liabilities, and rebuilds morale (and how that will look over time).  Any action plan implemented by small business owners (on returning employees to the workplace) will require great flexibility and consideration of complex matters, including: legal (including federal, state, and local government guidance and orders), logistical, and practical issues.

Below are some considerations for small business owners to keep in mind when developing a plan for transitioning employees back to the workplace and navigating the “new normal.”

  • Create a safe workplace by implementing formal policies and procedures (e.g., hand-washing protocols, regular deep cleaning of the office, and procedures in the event an employee tests positive for COVID-19);
  • Educate employees on the importance and need for a safe workplace (and how they can help contribute to it);
  • Boost morale and help create a more relaxed office/work environment;
  • Encourage open communication with employees and quickly address concerns;
  • Be proactive in rethinking the physical setup of the small business; and
  • Review operations and identify any areas of deficiency in infrastructure.

Planning ahead is essential.  Now is the time to consider a return to work program for employees, and as employees begin to return to the workplace, small business owners may want to audit the effectiveness of any implemented policies and procedures (and whether they are being adhered to).

If you have any questions or require further assistance to help you navigate through these difficult times, please feel free to give us a call.  We are all in this together.

Vernon Litigation Group represents businesses & individuals throughout the United States who have financial disputes, including cyber litigation, securities litigation & arbitration, business & commercial litigation, financial advisors & employment disputes, and FINRA arbitration. 

For more information contact, Brooke Sandoval-Banker or call (239) 319-4434.

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